Drew Carey, Reason and the Cleveland City Council Moving Forward

The Price Is Right host and Reason Foundation Board Member Drew Carey and Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie met with the Cleveland City Council yesterday to discuss our Reason Saves Cleveland series. The Plain Dealer’s Liz Navratil has the recap:

Drew Carey brought his charm, disarming wit and some very definite ideas for changing Cleveland to City Council on Thursday.

Most of Carey’s somewhat radical views on remaking the city were already known to council members, giving some of them ammunition to challenge Carey at the forum. For others, the session was a chance to bask in the famous comedian’s aura.

Carey wants his hometown to simplify regulations, offer potential business owners more incentives and better the school system. One of his unconventional ideas would eliminate zoning restrictions so that, possibly, even a strip club could land next to a church.

He billed another idea his “backpack system.” Parents choose the schools their children attend, and the funding goes with them. The comedian wants schools to compete for students and the money.

The status quo is not working, Carey said, and the city must change the way it thinks.
Carey aired his thoughts in a recent series of online documentaries, “Reason Saves Cleveland.” The series received mixed reviews, with some critics saying it was too harsh on Cleveland.

The work got Carey an invitation to talk to City Council. He gladly accepted. His appearance filled the chambers.

The star of “The Price Is Right” did not back down from his blunt observations. He called the series a “visual op-ed” and said he wanted it to spark dialogue.

That it did Thursday. Council and the celebrity engaged in substantive political discussion about government’s role in a city. All the while, Carey sprinkled in jokes to make his criticisms less harsh and to dodge salvos aimed his way.

Full article here.

Drew also sat down with the Plain Dealer’s Michael McIntyre yesterday to discuss why he wanted to do the videos, why he’s proud of the series, and what the next steps in helping Cleveland are likely to be:

Drew Carey visits Cleveland with his ideas on improving the city: Part III

And in this segment, Drew discusses getting local government out of the golf course and grocery store businesses and how to do privatization the right way:

Drew Carey visits Cleveland with his ideas on improving the city: Part II

More of the video interview here.